Balkan rumblings

Although rumours of war in the Balkans are overblown, the region has acquired greater strategic resonance recently, due mainly to Russia's intensifying interest and secondarily to jihadist activity. But the countries' central challenges are the erosion of democracy and poor governance, which may be tolerated to secure the order and stability needed for admission into the European Union.

What lies ahead for South Korea?

South Korea's new president faces stiff domestic challenges and is less inclined towards confrontation with North Korea than either his predecessor or the Trump administration.

The Manchester terrorist bombing

The jihadist bombing in Manchester followed a grimly familiar pattern: an individual with Middle Eastern roots but born in his Western host country, radicalised, and chose a ‘soft’ target.

Macron and the world

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, while inexperienced in international affairs, is inclined to return France to a tradition of national assertiveness.

The WannaCry ransomware attack

The worldwide 'WannaCry' ransomware attack of uncertain origin earlier this month did little lasting damage. Nevertheless, it indicated widespread vulnerability in cyber security.

The Kurds’ precarious balancing act in Syria

The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party’s utility to the US-led coalition against ISIS has bolstered its military capability and territorial position in Syria – despite Turkey's opposition.

The battle for Mosul

Iraqi government and allied forces are poised to decisively retake Mosul from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, within the next few months. But the presence of ISIS in Syria will still pose the risk of the group's resurgence in Iraq.

Conflict and impasse in South Sudan

President Salva Kiir and exiled first vice president Riek Machar, the two key political figures in South Sudan, remain at odds, and there is little sign of a political solution to the country's three-year-old civil war. There is some hope that the African Union will energise efforts to enforce the 2015 peace agreement and promote political dialogue.